Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward: a Book Review

Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is the winner of the 2017 National Book Award, and is a complex story of one family’s struggles with the stifling constraints of poverty, race, and the wounds of generations past. Continue reading “Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward: a Book Review”

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Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang: a Book Review

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a thrilling, heart-warming, whimsical story. It is all the more impressive when one considers that it is the author’s debut novel. Ruth Emmie Lang has crafted a superbly rendered modern day fairy tale, brimming with magical realism and full of heart. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is one of my favorite novels to date. Continue reading “Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang: a Book Review”

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: a Book Review

The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman is a novel about love, the ties of family, loss, identity and fate. This novel powerfully conjures the condition of the human heart with all of its’ joy, longing, and agony. The three Owens children, Franny, Jet, and Vincent, are on a journey to discover who they are. Along the way they un-earth a few family secrets and cover up a few of their own. The Rules of Magic is a powerful, heart-breaking novel that renders a dazzling portrait of the Owens family and their spellbinding traditions. Continue reading “The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: a Book Review”

We Shall Not All Sleep by Estep Nagy

We Shall Not All Sleep by Estep Nagy is a haunting novel of betrayal, scheming, familial ties, and manipulation. The novel takes place over a highly charged three day period during the summer of 1964. Events unfold in the novel following Hannah’s untimely death, and after Jim Hillsinger has been ousted from the CIA on the suspicion that he has committed treason. Set against the backdrop of the escalating Soviet threat, this novel is rife with secrets, scandals, and revenge. Continue reading “We Shall Not All Sleep by Estep Nagy”

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

In anticipation of the upcoming release of Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, I decided to read Practical Magic, the inspiration for the 1998 movie of the same title. While I, like so many others, adore the movie, I had never read the book. Although the cast of characters largely remains the same (the movie just forgets to mention a couple of them,) and the general story line is basically the same, the book is very different. It almost has a different “feel” to it, and as readers we receive more thorough portraits of each character that the film doesn’t necessarily offer. Continue reading “Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman”

The Child Finder: a Book Review

The Child Finder is the story of a woman, Naomi, whose life calling is to locate missing children. Known simply as the Child Finder, Naomi works as a private investigator with word of her uncanny ability traveling from person to person.  Like the children she is hired to find, Naomi was abducted in her childhood.  As an adult she has no recollection of the events that transpired while being held captive. Her mind has blocked the trauma and she only has memory of being found by a group of migrant workers after she escaped. She remembers them driving her to the Sherriff’s office, she remembers being deposited with her kindly foster mother, and she remembers meeting her foster brother Jerome. Perpetually haunted by nightmares, Naomi is terrified of her past catching up with her, but has made it her life’s mission to save and help children like her. Continue reading “The Child Finder: a Book Review”

Telling the Map: a Collection of Short Stories by Christopher Rowe

I am pleased-as-punch to share with you, readers, my review of a collection of short stories written by a former co-worker of mine. A little more than two years ago, I found myself in the employ of one of Lexington’s much beloved local book stores, Joseph Beth Booksellers. During my time there, I was introduced to Christopher Rowe. Christopher is a talented writer (who as it happens, is married to another talented writer, Gwenda Bond) and his collection Telling the Map was released in July of this year. Continue reading “Telling the Map: a Collection of Short Stories by Christopher Rowe”